Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Chewy Launches CarePlus Pet Insurance
Online retailer Chewy expanded into pet health insurance with CarePlus, which is available in 31 states and is expected to roll out nationwide later this year. The benefits of CarePlus, the company reported, “include 24/7 access to Chewy’s industry-leading customer care team for those seeking education on insurance, the ability to instantly connect with licensed veterinarians through Chewy’s award-winning telehealth service, Connect with a Vet, and 100% of costs covered for eligible prescription medication, supplement and veterinary diet food purchases on Chewy.com.” CarePlus preventive care plans start at $20 a month. More robust insurance plans range from $20 to $100 a month.
VVCA Updates Telemedicine Guidelines
The Veterinary Virtual Care Association released model telemedicine regulations based on input from its advisory council and the Veterinary Innovation Council’s Cross-Industry Forums. “The VVCA issues these model telemedicine regulations to provide guidance for practitioners, associations, legislatures and state boards of veterinary medicine,” the organization reported. Details are at bit.ly/3p8rXYA.
Suveto Exposes New Grads to Practice Ownership
Suveto, which focuses on veterinary practice ownership and personal well-being, launched Graduate to Ownership, a program designed to give new graduates a hands-on ownership clinical experience. “Ten percent of a GO participants’ paid work time is solely dedicated to their personal growth and education, in keeping with NOMV’s mission of providing support,” the company stated. In other news, Suveto donated $11,805 to Not One More Vet, an organization dedicated to preventing suicide within the veterinary industry.
Terravet Offers an Investment Trust
Terravet Real Estate Solutions introduced the company’s first private real estate investment trust. “Terravet REIT Inc. will provide owners of veterinary real estate an opportunity to diversify their real estate holdings by participating in a pool that is expected to scale to several hundred large general practice facilities and specialty/emergency veterinary hospital facilities nationwide,” the company stated. Overseeing the trust is a board of directors that includes VCA Animal Hospitals co-founder Neil Tauber and Terry O’Neil, a partner at Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Veterinary Services Group.
Wedgewood Earns an AAHA Endorsement
The American Animal Hospital Association selected Wedgewood Pharmacy as a preferred vendor for compounding services. “Our members look to us to provide tools and resources that elevate their practices and provide direct value to their pet-owner clients and patients,” said Keith R. Chamberlain, AAHA’s chief value officer. “Including Wedgewood Pharmacy in our Preferred Business Provider Network represents another example of the association providing tremendous value to all those we serve, both directly and through our members.”
AVMA Welcomes a New President
Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline), became president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, replacing Jose Arce, DVM, who completed his one-year term at the organization’s Philadelphia convention. Dr. Teller is a clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The AVMA House of Delegates elected Rena Carlson as the 2023-2024 president. Dr. Carlson, a former Idaho practice owner, now works as a relief veterinarian and a general practice mentor for National Veterinary Associates.
Telehealth Initiative Has Multiple Partners
A broad array of veterinary industry organizations and companies formed the Coalition for Connected Veterinary Care in an effort to enhance and expand veterinary telehealth. “Veterinary telemedicine is most effective and safest … when used to maintain a VCPR that has already been established via an in-person examination,” said Link Welborn, DVM, DABVP, who serves as CEO of the Veterinary Study Groups, a founding member of the coalition. “We’ll be looking to coalition members to help develop and share resources that will support veterinarians in seamlessly integrating telehealth into their practices while recognizing the importance of the VCPR.” Learn more at bit.ly/3zJPtjx.
Journey for Teams Supports DEI Efforts
The American Veterinary Medical Association and Veterinary Medical Association Executives launched Journey for Teams, an initiative designed to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the veterinary profession. “The program builds upon the original Journey program launched in July 2021 by the VMAE that provides executive directors and elected leaders at veterinary medical associations with tools and resources to advance DEI,” the two organizations reported. “The new Journey for Teams is designed for veterinary professionals and workplaces of all kinds, including private practices, animal hospitals, academia, industry and other settings.” AVMA chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer Latonia Craig, Ed.D., will oversee the development and implementation of Journey for Teams.
Banfield Undergoes a Leadership Change
Mony Iyer, MBA, MS, was named president of Banfield Pet Hospital, and Jeff Ellison was appointed chief operating officer. In addition, former president Brian Garish took over as president of Mars Veterinary Health International. Iyer served as Banfield’s chief operating officer for nearly two years, “during which he led the creation and rollout of new modes of care, drove a hospital-first culture to ensure the practice met and exceeded the needs of hospital associates and clients, and led the transformation of the practice’s IT organization,” according to the company. Banfield operates more than 1,000 general veterinary hospitals in 42 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
Basepaws Releases Microbiome Tests
Basepaws Inc. launched genetic and oral microbiome tests designed to help identify health risks sooner in cats and dogs. “Basepaws’ DNA sequencing provides more detailed and specific insights than the consumer-facing methods,” the company reported. “The information can guide veterinarians and pet parents in selecting annual wellness programs, routine diagnostic tests and lifestyle changes based on an individual pet’s genetics.” MWI Animal Health is the exclusive distributor.